I have 23 years experience as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist and have been qualified as a couples/relationship counsellor for 10 years. I am also a qualified relational supervisor and provide supervision to other trainee and qualified Counsellors/Psychotherapists.
My approach I work in an integrative way which means my practice is informed by many approaches and models. However, my practice is firmly based in my humanistic training. This means that I believe that the most important aspect of the counselling process is the relationship between client and counsellor and I provide a warm empathic and safe space for you to explore the issues you bring to counselling and to explore how you would like to move forward.
What happens in Counselling? Initially, we will identify the issues and themes that you bring and whether you would like to work short or long term.
You may wish to work short term to identify some strategies to manage stress or anxiety, low mood or anger for example. You may wish to be able to communicate better with other people or to be more assertive. You may be at a crossroads in your life and not sure what to do next or you may just wish to have some time to focus on personal development and improving wellbeing.
You may want to work longer term if there are difficult issues from your past that are affecting how you view life, affect your relationships or your self esteem and feelings. Working longer term will allow us to explore these issues in depth and ways of working through them, while being held in the therapeutic relationship.
I will help you to explore how you got to where you are now, how it feels to be there, what you would like to change. In the process of counselling some unconscious patterns or beliefs about ourselves and the world will become apparent. Often they were helpful to us at some point in our lives but maybe they no longer fit or have become an unconscious unhelpful habit. If we can identify those patterns and bring them into the conscious mind, we can have a choice to begin to act or think differently.
Sometimes, we are not looking for change but just to speak about our feelings. We might be frustrated that no one seems to listen to us and want a place to be heard and recognised. Sometimes, we are questioning our identity and want an independent space to talk where we will not be judged.
We all experience loss in our lives Since training with Cruse Bereavement Care at the start of my counselling journey I have been passionate about supporting people through the process of loss. We may have lost an important person in our lives, a bereavement, a miscarriage or relationship breakdown. We may have had another sort of loss - a redundancy, loss of home or our health. Sometimes we have left our family behind or our county of origin and feeling adrift.
Loss and grief happens to us all at some point in our lives and can be devastating and painful. We cannot 'fix' feelings of loss but talking about how we feel is a major factor in how we process loss and processing loss is so important for us to be able to move forward in our lives and find meaning from the loss which we can carry forward into the 'new normality'. I trained and worked as a grief counsellor at Cruse Bereavement care and have been using those skills to help people through the grief process, whatever the loss, for over 20 years and believe how we process and find meaning in loss is so important to our emotional development and health.
Relationship and Couples Counselling. I trained at Relationshapes with the renowned couples therapist Jill Gabriel and love my work with couples. I always say that my client is the 'relationship' and the relationship is what goes on in the space between the two people. So my role is to listen, observe and to reflect back what I see, like holding up a mirror, so that you can more clearly see how the relationship dynamics work.
It might be that you would like to work on how to communicate more effectively; we often assume the other person can guess what we want or need, but we are not mind readers and no matter how long we have known someone we don't necessarily know what they are thinking or feeling. We will look at the dynamics, history and values of your family of origin as we carry these with us into our adult relationships and if we have different models of relationships this can cause conflict. Conflict in itself is not bad - we are all different and there will always be tensions in relationships. In counselling we can look at healthy strategies for managing conflict within the relationship. When children arrive this can put extra stress on the relationship and couples often find that gradually their relationship changes. There may be less time for each other. You may want to explore how to find ways of keeping emotional and physical intimacy going when children or life's challenges make it hard to find time together.
Thinking of moving in together? Couples who are thinking of living together/getting married often find joint counselling a way of exploring what works well in the relationship and any issues that might arise and cause difficulties. Sometimes it is helpful to have what some couples call an MOT, a regular check in with each other in a facilitated space to talk about how things are going in the relationship. These sessions can be an investment in the future.
I am amazed by the human capacity to work through adversity. My role as a counsellor is not to tell you what to do but to be a witness to and to join you on your journey and by doing so help you to explore, be curious about what is important to you and building on what works for you as well as thinking about ways of being that are not so helpful, and gain greater clarity and perspective, so that you have agency in your life to do and go where you choose within the options available. It see it as a privilege to be able to walk with you on that journey and I learn a lot from my clients.
I am fully committed to valuing and respecting difference and diversity and respect the variety of human experience and culture. LGBTQ friendly. Kink aware.
I am a registered Therapist with WPA and Cigna insurance schemes.
Training, qualifications & experience
Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling - University of Brighton 2000
Cruse Bereavement Care Training 1999
MBACP (accred) since 2006
Certificate in Groupwork - Wealden College 2006
Certificate in in Couples and Relationship Counselling - Relationshapes with Jill Gabriel 2012
Advanced Specialist Diploma in Relational Supervision - Severn Talking Therapies 2020
Non Counselling qualifications -
BA Hons - American Studies (Literature) 1983
Post Graduate Diploma in Law (Law Society Common Professional Examination) 1993
Prior to becoming a full time counsellor I worked for 30 years in Third Sector Legal and Welfare Advice Agencies and Social Care Organisations as a Paralegal and Advocate, in a Firm of Solicitors and a Housing Association. In these roles I have supported a wide range of people facing life changing events and circumstances. I also have extensive experience managing employees and volunteers and working alongside Statutory Sector partners to support service users to have a voice in service development.
I have worked closely and extensively with people with disability and their family carers in the 3rd Sector and I have a special interest in working with carers and people with long term illness, disability and life limiting conditions in my counselling work.
I also trained and worked with a specialist Alcohol and Substance use Service in Sussex.
I was Treasurer and Committee member of Here and Now Counselling in Hove from 2000 to 2006 and Treasurer and Committee member on Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Private Practice from May 2016 to November 2020. I currently work as a supervisor for Listening Post in Gloucestershire.
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
I work as an IFS informed therapist having undertaken 2 days theoretical training and awaiting IFS Level 1 training in Spring 2022.
Concessions offered for
Individuals £55 per 50 minute session
Couples £70 per 50 minute session.
During the current coronavirus pandemic I am offering telephone and online counselling only.
The BS16 location has on street parking. There are stairs at this location but there is a star lift (with 2 steps a the top of the stairs). Ground floor wheelchair access can be arranged.